My Next Destination: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

“Bird Flu” is raging in nearby Vietnam. SARS is still a danger. And China’s got missles pointed in its direction.

I ask you this: could there possibly be a better time for me to move to Taiwan? The answer, of course, is no!

In early March, I’ll be heading to Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where Jill A. and I have landed jobs teaching English at a private language school. Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city (population: 1.5 million) and the world’s third largest container port (I’ve always loved container ports). The city used to be called “Dagou,” which means “beat the dog.” Really.

I’m interested in the following aspects of life in Taiwan, and I look forward to exploring them further:

–The way in which China’s culture co-exists with the high-tech Taiwanese economy;

–What’ll happen to the “One China” policy? China says Taiwan is part of the People’s Republic of China, but Taiwan is fully autonomous–yet not exactly independent. Taiwan is planning a national referendum on the issue soon.

–How hard is it to learn Mandarin Chinese? We’ll see.

Resources for Futher Reading
General info: Michael Turton’s Teaching English in Taiwan Web site is excellent. (But my sense is that Turton is, well, finicky, so keep that in mind.) His photo section is worth checking out. As is his food page. The Lonely Planet Taiwan section is also good.

News: eTaiwanNews.comand Taipei Times are two good English publications.

Weblogs: Robot Action Boy (an American living in Taipei) and The Taipei Kid are a couple of interesting blogs I’ve come across.

I’m really excited to go and I’ll keep you posted as I come across new sites and find out more about Taiwan.

Oh yeah: almost forgot. The other day a whale exploded in Tainan city! eTaiwanNews reported: “A dead sperm whale being transported through Tainan City on its way to a research station suddenly exploded yesterday, splattering cars and shops with blood and guts.” Photo here.

One reply on “My Next Destination: Kaohsiung, Taiwan”

Good luck in Kaohsiung. I lived there in 1998 and often think of returning. I stayed at the Ambassador hotel along the Love river and traveled to a project out near China Steel. I will look for pictures.

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